By Sharmin Shanur
A few months ago the dj mix #selfie made its way into mainstream media and completely engulfed the minds of young adolescents. It played in every radio station and was hummed in the mouths of all the young people that were attracted to it. However, along being produced by the famous Chainsmokers and containing extremely catchy tunes, the song along with its music video had many implications about females and popularized gender stereotypes. The mix #selfie begins by a few musical chords and is then followed by a woman who converses with the audience about a man named Jason. She is portrayed as an extremely spiteful young woman, who constantly criticizes the people, especially women, around her in ways that are extremely demeaning. With the narrator, stands a woman whose name, we as the audience, never learn. All we know about the second woman is that she constantly looks at herself in the mirror, shifts her body from side to side to show herself or the audience her exposed curves, plays with the volume of her hair, and seldom listens to her friend talking because she is too occupied with her self image. All the actions and characteristics aforementioned provide a very negative view of the girls- I realized that they were nothing more than sexualized objects in the music video. In terms of the narrator, her sole existence seems to be linked to Jason and his view of her. In all of her selfies she wants to “look tan,” “be clever” with her captions, and gain and an extreme number of likes within a few minutes. Although I would have liked to believe that all of her desires were to satisfy herself, I was deterred from that idea because the music ends with her saying “Oh my god, Jason just texted me. Should I go home with him? I guess I took a good selfie.” Both the music video and the lyrics ends in a way that shows me the girl never fully created her own self worth or self-esteem because all of her actions were never for her sake, but for the sake of another man.
After formulating my opinion of the music video and the message of the music itself, I went on to see what others thought of #selfie on youtube’s comments section. A plethora of people really did enjoy the music, some believed it was their “new jam;” but a minority really did see past the good beat and what the music really portrayed. They saw beyond the fun selfies that made its way into the music video and realized that, like me, they did not want their daughters and sisters being raised with the idea that they are defined by their beauty. Of course there were people that commented against them, and stated that the Chainsmokers were simply producing satire and being critical of them was completely unnecessary. I cannot lie, but both sides were correct in their own ways; satire is what keeps that world going and possibly can bring change as seen through the Roman and Greek who were pioneering satirist; but sexualized satire can sometimes lead young people to believe the message literally and in terms of #Selfie, a literal message would not be a positive. All in all, judging music will not necessarily change the way the whole world looks at a certain situation, but becoming aware of your body and self worth despite what the media portrays is a great start. By becoming educated about objectification and lessening your chances of being a sexulaized woman, you can drastically affect the people around you and in turn bring a small change that can augment into something larger.